Risa Sherman is an imaginative creator and problem-solver who has built a career around transforming big ideas into actionable, scalable solutions to social issues. Both visionary and practical, wildly creative and detail focused, Risa is a collaborative and flexible leader who thrives on removing the barriers that get us to “Yes!”
For more than 30 years Risa has helped brands, companies and nonprofits define what they stand for; create and drive programs and partnerships that bring those ideals to life; and achieve measurable results. Her areas of expertise include social impact program development, cross-sector partnerships, stakeholder engagement, aligning values and behavior and facilitating discussions among C-Suite leaders to build consensus and establish collaborative direction to advance social impact goals. She has served in communications and stakeholder engagement roles in government, nonprofit, corporate and consulting organizations.
Prior to joining CCOP, Risa was the Director of Babson College's Youth Impact Lab at the Lewis Institute for Social Innovation where she led global programs that engage youth as entrepreneurial changemakers and problem-solvers. During this time, she formalized and codified program prototypes and grew them to become new multi-million dollar revenue streams for the College.
Previously, she was the Social Impact Lead at The Boston Beer Company where she directed all social impact strategy and programming including brand and enterprise philanthropy; issue leadership and advocacy; and stakeholder engagement. Risa initiated the first company-wide social responsibility framework and suite of Diversity & Inclusion initiatives across 60 enterprise touchpoints and worked elbow-to-elbow with the Chairman, President and CEO, and functional executive leads throughout the Company to bring its unique set of value to life. Most notable is her role in architecting and scaling Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, the company’s philanthropy focus which supports the progress of underserved entrepreneurs in the food and beverage industry. After launching the program as a consultant in 2008, she remained of counsel to the company until joining as an employee in 2014. This program has distributed nearly $50 million in microloans and delivered skilled coaching to tens of thousands of small business owners.
Prior to joining Boston Beer, Risa was a Senior Consultant at Cause Consulting where she led social impact programming for clients such as ARAMARK, New Balance and Keurig. Earlier in her career, Risa was a principal and strategist at PowerPact integrating social issues into profit-driving programs for Sony, P&G, and General Mills. She was an original member of the Cause Branding practice at Cone Communications.
Risa is a graduate of Boston University's College of Communications and holds a master's degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Risa is a founding board member of the national nonprofit A Kids' Brain Tumor Cure Foundation and is an advisor to numerous nonprofits including American Dream U, Accion, CommonWealth Kitchen, Baby Basics, and Media Girls. She is also a member of the Community Advisory Board of WBUR, Boston's public radio station. Risa is trained in cultural proficiency and is a founder of the Needham Diversity Summit.